Excess Baggage

excessbagChuffed and delighted to have been invited to appear as a studio guest on this week’s Excess Baggage, the Saturday-morning travel show on BBC radio’s speech network Radio 4 – recorded, thankfully, instead of going out live, as it usually does. All rather nerve-wracking, but I was on to talk about the plans for rail in the Middle East – which I’ve blogged about before and am familiar enough with to blather about at length – so having less than 48 hours’ notice wasn’t as much of an issue as it might have been.

The whole thing actually went very smoothly – ushered into the studio, a little preamble, polystyrene tea provided, and we just launched into it. Whether I made any sense or not is a different matter – judge by clicking here to go to the programme page, where there is a Listen button (and then please tell me what you think by coming back here and leaving a comment).

If you just want my bit, fast forward to about 18’50” into the show – but I was on with FT journalist Michael Peel, who was plugging his book A Swamp Full of Dollars, about oil and corruption in Nigeria, and writer Jo Tatchell, who was plugging her book A Diamond in the Desert, a portrait of Abu Dhabi – both with fascinating stories to tell. It’s well worth listening to the whole half-hour.

A great experience, which I enjoyed very much. Presenter Sandi Toksvig was the height of charm, claiming extreme tiredness as the excuse for fluffing her script several times (smoothed over in the final edit), and ending the show – once we got there safely – with a juicy obscenity. Wonderful. I love radio. Am trying to do more of it.


  1. David Whitley

    Congrats young man. Glad you enjoyed it.

    My girlfriend is a radio producer, and I occasionally get roped in to share my ‘expertise’ (or more often, lack of).

    But despite having radio journalism training at university, I just can’t get on with it – I speak too fast, stumble over myself, the works. There’s an art to it, and it seems as though you may have it. Good on you.

    1. Matthew Teller

      Thank you kindly. I thought I gabbled a bit, and (story of my life) all weekend I’ve been thinking up all kinds of pithily fascinating and intelligent things I could have said, as opposed to the woolly blather I actually came out with – but there it is.

      Back to the business of making a living.

      1. Darren Cronian

        Nice work Matthew, shame I missed the show. Like David, I always talk too fast and well having a Yorkshire accent doesn’t help sometimes. I have often asked if they want a translator.

        I’ve been on radio 4 and 5, both live, extremely nerve wrecking.

        Always good to get some recognition for your hard work and knowledge.

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